From The Editor

Program provides leadership succession planning

Vicky Boyd

As I looked out at the attendees of the recent rice leadership program alumni dinner in Little Rock, Arkansas, I couldn’t help but notice how many of today’s leaders were graduates of the program. Possibly even more heartening was the large number of young people who had recently completed the program and were poised to take on industry leadership rolls. ... Read More »

Researchers turn up the heat to prepare for global warming

Vicky Boyd

When you start looking at historical weather data, Arkansas and the rest of the Southeast haven’t seen a significant overall temperature increase since the early 20th century. What has changed in Arkansas and parts of the Southeast is how those temperatures are distributed, according to information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association National Centers for Environmental Information. Although the ... Read More »

Help us recognize deserving industry leaders

Vicky Boyd

As you thumb through this issue of Rice Farming magazine, you may notice nomination forms for two different recognition programs — the Rice Awards, now in its 28th year, and the third annual Rice Consultant of the Year. We don’t come up with the award recipients’ names ourselves — we rely on you, as their peers, to nominate them. The ... Read More »

Arkansas’ new truth-in-labeling law targets rice imposters

Vicky Boyd

The Arkansas Legislature recently passed a measure that sets strict definitions for a host of agricultural products, including rice, and requires food companies to accurately label their products. Gov. Asa Hutchison subsequently signed it into law, creating Act 501. The state legislation is an offshoot of efforts by USA Rice federally to have the Food and Drug Administration establish a ... Read More »

Get ready for a robot invasion in rice fields

Vicky Boyd

The folks behind Harvest CROO, a robotic strawberry harvester nearing commercialization, recently sent a press release about how the automated machine can pick at least 20 hours per day, including weekends, and harvest 95 percent of the fruit off a plant. One of the masterminds behind the machine is Florida strawberry grower Gary Wishnatzki, who was having a tough time ... Read More »

Numbers don’t lie – industry has made huge sustainability gains

Vicky Boyd

To say you’re sustainable is one thing. But to put numbers to that statement — and numbers that show substantial improvement in using resources more efficiently — is quite another. USA Rice recently released the executive summary of its “2018 U.S. Rice Industry Sustainability Report” that cataloged the industry’s improvements during the past 36 years. We’re not talking small gains, ... Read More »

Would a rice by any other name still smell as sweet?

Vicky Boyd

Numbers don’t lie. For the 2018-19 rice marketing year, imports are expected to comprise more than 24 percent of domestic rice use — a record, according to figures from U.S. Department of Agriculture ag economist Nathan Childs. Of that, most will be Thai jasmine. Just 20 years ago, imports made up about 8 percent of domestic use. Although some of ... Read More »

Texas FFA students learn about rice through contest

Vicky Boyd

When you think about FFA, images of blue jackets, livestock showing and judging, public speaking and leadership may come to mind. Chances are rice is not among those. But the long-running Ruben Stringer Memorial Texas Rice Education Contest is designed to spark FFA students’ interest in the Texas rice industry east of Houston, says Mike Broussard, a vocational agriculture teacher ... Read More »

Rice enjoys craft beer renaissance

Vicky Boyd

Using rice as a beer ingredient is nothing new. Brewers before Prohibition used the grain because it imparted a light, crisp taste and effervescence, and Anheuser Busch has been doing so for decades. But they all used rice as an adjunct ingredient and a starch source in addition to barley. Jim Eckert, owner of Eckert Malting and Brewing in Chico, ... Read More »

Rice industry received several ‘gifts’ for the 2018 season

Vicky Boyd

The 2018 rice season reminds me of Christmas. You rip into the boxes under the tree and can’t wait to go outside and try out your new toys. This year, rice producers received a number of presents in the form of a new herbicide-tolerant technology, a new herbicidal mode of action and three new jasmine-type varieties. Read More »